Checkpoint Offers Fixed-Price Plan

By Jonathan Collins

The company will design and deploy an RFID pilot network for one all-inclusive rate.

Retail security and identification systems specialist Checkpoint Systems is offering to design and implement an on-site Electronic Product Code (EPC) RFID network for a fixed rate. The company hopes to attract manufacturers and retailers wary of the cost and complexity of deploying RFID technology.

John Thorn

“CPG companies are struggling to deploy EPC networks, and they need a way to mitigate the risk of doing so,” says John Thorn, general manager of Checkpoint’s Supply Chain and Brand Solutions Group.

Launching its EPC Implementation Pilot at the National Retail Federation Convention & Expo in New York City, Checkpoint says it will provide customers with the option of a clearly priced EPC pilot network. Depending on the number of readers and tags needed, as well as other factors, the pilot will be priced between $45,000 and $140,000.

In addition, Checkpoint will take on the risk of an unsuccessful RFID deployment. “Customers can be certain the pilot will work, otherwise they don’t have to pay,” says Thorn.

The company says the pilot, which may last as long as year, covers everything: determining the design and scope of the network, deploying EPC tags, labels and readers, and integrating the EPC network into the customer’s existing business applications. As part of that offer, Checkpoint will install a system with readers at three to five dock doors and conveyor systems, as well as a similar number of mobile readers. The customer would determine the number of each. The number of tags included ranges from 70,000 to 250,000, depending on the scope and length of the pilot. The company also expects the number of products tagged in the pilot to be between three to five SKU’s.

Checkpoint says it will also deploy its own EPC network management software to link the pilot RFID network’s data into the company’s existing computer infrastructure. “We can integrate the pilot data either by feeding data into their existing operational applications or by simple file transfer to the system. The main point is that we will get the data into the customers software infrastructure,” says Thorn.

For an additional charge, customers will also have the option of extending the pilot beyond one year.

Checkpoint says its pilots will use its own tags and readers supporting both EPC Class 0 and 1 tags and labels and using chips from a range of suppliers including Matrics, Alien Technology and Philips Semiconductor.

Based in a Thorofare, N.J., Checkpoint is a leading supplier of electronic article surveillance (EAS) tags, tiny devices that alert stores when someone passes through a gate at an exit with a stolen item. The company believes that experience in attaching and tracking EAS tags leaves it well qualified to offer RFID equipment and services.

Further supporting that push, the company also announced the opening of its EPC Solution Center, which is a test lab at its own facilities that provides. Checkpoint is making its center available to consumer packages goods, third party logistics companies and other companies to begin the process of evaluation and design of an EPC implementation. After testing equipment in the EPC Solution Center’s controlled environment, customers will then likely move to an on-site pilot overseen by CheckPoint.

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